Cancer team to continue crusade
THE Crusade for Cancer team, which includes South Perth resident Shenton McPherson, has been given the opportunity to finish what it started after their boat sank at the 4km mark of last week's Rottnest Channel Swim.
The team was plucked from the water by Fremantle Sea Rescue (FSR), after it had to abandon the sinking boat.
FSR group president Phil Martin said volunteers from the organisation decided they would take the unusual step of allowing the team to attempt the swim again, providing support on the way to the island.
Crusade for Cancer founder Nathan Colgan said the team, which raised $13,000 for the charity, was elated with the offer from FSR and planned to set off from Cottesloe at 5.30am on Saturday, March 7.
Mr Colgan, the team's kayaker on the day, said the boat was under water in a few minutes.
“It was a series of events in a bad circumstance that happened very quickly,” he said.
“Some additional water came on the back when we had stopped and we had a shift of people down in one corner.
“We weren’t able to power up to clear the water.”
Mr Colgan, whose son Conor recently overcame a brain tumour, said the group’s disappointment was short lived.
“The next afternoon Fremantle Sea Rescue contacted us and said they can use it as a training exercise because they're back and forth between Rottnest every week and wanted to do their bit for the four guys who had put all the time and energy into the course.”
Mr Martin said FSR volunteers had decided to help the swim team after they found out why the team was swimming.
“We were the first on scene, our jet ski operators fixed on the toe line to the boat and we got them to safety, we didn't think too much of it or who they were at the time because we were so focused on the event,” he said.
“Only on Sunday evening, I was talking to our event co-ordinator and he said they weren't just doing it for fun, they were doing it Crusade for Cancer and we thought that was a really good thing.
“We've got the capacity to do it and this is a uniquely good cause and you sometimes make an exception to help people out.”
The Crusade for Cancer is a charity raising funds and awareness for childhood brain cancer with initiatives including Pirate Day Friday White Eye Patch Day, run through primary schools. Visit PirateDayFriday.com for more.
The Crusade for Cancer team’s stricken vessel.